rave: Winter Minestrone Soup

Winter Minestrone Soup, originally uploaded by mywong13.

i saw this recipe on epicurious.com a while back but couldn't find all the veggies last time i was at central market. today, i found everything easily so i decided to make a large vat of soup for dinner served with some awesome rosemary sourdough bread. I had to admit, the soup has a bit of chopping to it, but totally worth it. the flavor was very yummy and simple. you can taste all the ingredients. so make sure they are fresh and good. i was a little confused about the Parmigiano-Reggiano rind for the soup but it really does give the stock great flavor. below is the recipe. "*" is where i made some changes to original. now i have enough soup for 3 more meals :)

from: epicurious.com
"Patience is the key to this soul-satisfying soup chock-full of winter greens. Its depth of flavor comes from cooking the soffritto—a mixture of pancetta, onion, celery, carrots, and the ribs from the chard—for a good 45 minutes and from browning the tomato paste. The result is so savory that there's no need for broth; water, canned tomatoes, and a parmesan rind work beautifully. And because this soup must cook slowly, don't worry about prepping all your vegetables before you begin—you can simply chop as you go."

Yield: Makes 8 servings
Active Time: 45 min
Total Time: 2 hr
1/3 pound sliced pancetta, chopped
3 medium red onions, chopped
4 celery ribs, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch Swiss chard
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice
*1 quart of vegetable stock and 2 quarts of hot water (3 quart hot water)
5 cups coarsely chopped cored Savoy cabbage (6 ounces)
5 cups coarsely chopped escarole (1/2 pound)
1 piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (about 3 by 1 1/2 inches)
1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3 bay leaves

Accompaniments: extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling; cooked ditalini pasta tossed with oil (optional); grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Cook pancetta, onions, celery, and carrots in oil in a wide 7-to 9-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, while preparing chard.

Cut out stems from chard and chop stems, reserving leaves. Stir chard stems into pancetta mixture with garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and
3/4 teaspoon pepper and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender and begin to stick to bottom of pot, about 45 minutes total. (Set aside chard leaves.)

Push vegetables to one side of pot. Add tomato paste to cleared area and cook, stirring constantly, until it starts to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Stir paste into vegetables and cook, stirring,
2 minutes. (Paste may stick to pot, but don’t let it burn.)

Stir in tomatoes with their juice, breaking them up with a spoon, then add hot water (3 quarts), scraping up any brown bits from
bottom of pot.

Bring to a simmer. Stir in cabbage, escarole, bay leaves and Parmigiano-Reggiano rind. Simmer, covered, until greens are tender, about 40 minutes.

Coarsely chop chard leaves and stir into soup along with beans. Simmer, partially covered, 10 minutes. Discard rind. Season soup with salt and pepper. If using ditalini, stir in just before serving.

Soup, without pasta, can be made 2 days ahead and chilled.


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